The busiest shopping week of the year is upon us, and consumers are predicted to spend more during this Black Friday than the rest of the fourth retail quarter, according to Global Data.
But first, what is Black Friday?
Black Friday, like many trends, is an American export that now resides in the UK. Since the 1940’s and the rise of department stores, US retailers have been promoting big sales come Christmastime in hopes that shoppers will line up the day after Thanksgiving with some money to spend.
In the last few years, however, British retailers have adopted the discount weekend, since Amazon UK first began advertising Black Friday sales in 2010. The holiday, it seems, is here to stay.
What do consumers have to say?
We spoke to shoppers on Oxford Street to see how they’ll be spending Black Friday. While most young people are planning to do some shopping on Black Friday, many don’t set out with a plan to buy specific items.
“I might go to buy some shoes, clothes, maybe a TV, and some Christmas presents,” shopper Mattia said.
Charlotte Lomas, 19, said: “I’m shopping for whatever has the best deal.”
But is it a good deal?
Shopper Henry thinks it is, saying: “You can actually get reasonably good prices for pieces of clothing. If you don’t have very much money, it’s a good time to get some bargains from stores that are usually more expensive.”
On the other hand, Amir, a seller at an independent store called Layer, said that Black Friday is not a great deal.
According to Amir, the shopping day is: “created by certain stores in the US trying to get positive numbers and engage people to selling. But the way it involve has making it turning into a balance of shopping while people are doing it too much. It goes into an extreme…Stores trick the consumers into buying stuff and trick them to thinking that something is on sale.”
What can we predict for this year’s Black Friday?
According Zoe Mills, retail analyst at GlobalData, Black Friday will account for 10.5 percent of the fourth quarter spending, a massive number for the week in November. GlobalData defines and tracks Black Friday as 19 November – 26 November, 2018.
Mills said: “The Black Friday event has a big impact on the timing of purchases over Q4 – 39.9 per cent of 2,000 UK shoppers surveyed in November 2018 stated that they intend to purchase an item on promotion during the discounting period and of those shoppers, 55.8 per cent are delaying a purchase to benefit from anticipated reduced prices.”
Global Data forecasts Black Friday sales in the UK to grow by 3.1 per cent from last year.
As far as the types buying consumers will do, Mills said: “Fashion & beauty will be the best performing sector during 2018’s Black Friday period, forecast to grow by 3.8 per cent on 2017. We have seen more clothing retailers participating in the event each year and while a number of big names such as Marks & Spencer are not participating in the event, online pureplays such as ASOS, boohoo.com and Gymshark are encouraging consumers to move online to get a discount.”
Whether shopping in store or online, for others or themselves, for clothes or electronics, consumers can be sure to spend big bucks this week in the lead-up to Christmas. Black Friday in Britain is not going anywhere.